Take me home


I wish I had the tools and the ability of Mais Darwazeh to have my grand mother on camera before she passed away.

It was a nice experience watching the feature length documentary ‘Take me Home’ of Mais in Al Balad theatre yesterday. The documentary which mainly focused on the life of Mais’s Tata and her interaction with her social and political environment through the length of her life’s years has been brilliantly shot in a way that is close to the hearts.

Mais’s Tata, is like my own Tata’s and a lot of other Palestinian women who had to endure the hardship of political circumstances in the region, from living under the Othmanian dictatorship, to being forced into leaving their homes in Palestine and adopt a new life in a nearby Arabic country, then living the national dream of getting their land back, and facing newly emerged dictatorships in the Arab countries they moved to live in.

A line in Tata’s talk quote my attention. She was talking about a historian in her family who was optimistic of a better future for the Arab nation. She said that she is not optimistic but he was. Being a historian, he knew that nations do rise and fall. She continued by saying that Historians must know better. I tell her, yes indeed Tata, they know better :)

Mais’s Tata has a brilliant sense of humor. She caught the audiance attention all through the movie with her ability to drop sarcastic comments here and there. In an event of where she was hearing the news of the fights between fateh and hamas, she sighted and sarcastically said in a syrian’s accent ‘Eh shoo 3alena, we hoped for a country and a leader, and now we will have 2 countries and 2 leaders! hurrayyyyy’

It was Mais’s first length feature documentary. It was wise of her to pick the life of her grand mother. I wish more people do like her. Our old people are a treasure of information and living documents of an area of time where a lot took place. Mais feared to lose such chance, and moved with her camera to capture her Tata’s memory. I envy her, for I always cherished the story of my grandmother and her amazing story telling capabilities.

Mais, you have done a great job. Congratulations! My regards to your grandmother, may God grant her a long life :)

حين يتمدد العشاق ابكر مما يجب


حين يتمدد العشاق ابكر مما يجب, يفقدون نصف الملذات
امسكها و ابقاها واقفة عندما ارادت طرح نفسها على السرير
بالدسار, بطل رواية امين معلوف يعرف بالفطرة استغلال لحظات اللذة
ببطء و تأني, في زمن لم يعرف بعد الفاست فوود!
بالدسار, الرجل الجنوي من القرن السادس عشر, يتحدى سلطة الدين
سلطة الاسلام العثماني, و دكتاتورية الحكم الكنسي
بلحظات خلوه يسمح لغريزته بتوجيهه
قبل ايام على انتهاء العالم حسب الاعتقاد السائد انذاك
تبقى غريزة الانسان هي سيدة الموقف
و بلحظات النشوة يفقد الانسان احساسه بالخوف
فتسيطر الرغبة على العق
لو يعيش العشاق لحظات خارج هذا العالم

فاذا كان هذا ما يحصل في زمن القسوة في عقاب الخطاة
فما بالك بما يحصل في عمان في زمن الانفتاح
و الحرية الاجتماعية النسبية, وتراخي قبضة الدين
فالغريزة واحدةوالعشق نفسه
ولكن هل يتمتع عشاق هذا الزمن برفاهية الوقوف ؟
هل سرقت السيارة نصف الملذات؟
ام ان ثقافة الفاست فوود زحفت لتسيطر على حاجاتنا الجنسية كما حاجاتنا من الطعام

الشبع اصبح سيد الموقفوالسرعة سرقت المتعة
فليقف العشاق كبالدسارو لينسوا الوقف
فليس هناك سوى انت و هي في تلك اللحظه

فالعالم ليس الا شاهد على حرارة العشق

A strike in Jordan on 4th of May!


I came across this facebook group/event that is calling for a general strike in Jordan on the 4th of May to protest on the continuous increase of prices.

Their goals as they state in the group are:
1. To force the government to make real actions in order to stop the inflation of prices. (As if the government hasn’t tried, and still trying, all what it can do about it)

2. Keep the prices of Gas and electricity as it is currently. (As if it is in the hand of the government the increase of Oil prices around the globe)

3. Stop selling national’s properties. (A lot of Jordanians are concerned about this issue. It has some advantages and some disadvantage. Requires a long debate here)

4. Forcing private sector to increase the prices of their employees. (How wise that would be? The government did already pushed private sector to do so, but they can’t really force anyone)

They are calling people to stay at their homes on the 4th of May till 11:00 AM, and not go to work. They claim that this is a civilized way for protesting without causing a real trouble altough at the very first of their message they say that this call is for the eyes of Jordan and for the support of those who striked in Egypt!! Why are we striking for the Egyptians??!

I am all for civilized reactions and communication with the government for any cause, but I really wonder how much such strike can cause? If you read the newspaper, you would tell that the government is concerned about the inflation of prices more than anyone and they are trying their best to limit its effect by different means. King Abdulla himself interfered more than once and gave direct orders to the government to take certain actions.

Reality is that what is happening is a global crisis. The inflation of oil prices is affecting everyone. We are not immune to that, and such strikes won’t solve the problem. What we can do is try to decrease our expenses and produce more. Strikes would only make a bad situation worse in this case.

They call the strike, the stike of the honorable men! To me honorable men are the ones who work hard to make a good life for their families, not those who whine for the government to feed them.

What is ironic that this facebook group contains many member of the upper class of society where I doubt such inflation in prices have a major effect on their lives! Some of the members in my own contact friends list do drive mercedes and live at the very riches neighbourhood in West Amman!

I don’t like to use the term ‘faffies’, but if the spoiled youngsters of west amman is calling for a strike for the inflation of prices, what are the other Jordanians living around the country doing to deal with this crisis? Are they working their ass off to meet theirs and their children basic needs?

I got engaged!


Finally
The nightmare has vanashed
The knight in the shining armor appeared
And saved me from the horror people built around me
The horror of time
The horror of continuous nagging
Unshameful questions
and sympathic looks

Anything new with you?

YES Moron
Just look at my finger

(Engagement rings should be placed in the middle finger,
so that to raise it up to the faces of people who deserve it)

Anything new with you?

I no longer have to bend my head in embarassement and wish that my ‘No’ answer would trigger another shameful question: *Why?*
It just didn’t happen!
And I no longer have to explain for the 10000th time that I won’t compromise for the freak you think I should marry just because I am approaching my late 20s!

So here I am, a gold medal winner
A winner who waited for the right man
And hit the jackpot

My patience has paid
My life turned upside down
In a single night

From a single woman that is ruled by the laws of friendships
to an engaged woman ruled by the traditions of families
and the expectations of the future husband

A new priority emerged in my life
A priority that forms the base of my future life
and in which I have to take care of and protect

And while I know it can be a literal kidnap from my friends arms
This is a kidnap that I expect them to respect and adapt to.

So what if I have to make some slight changes in my life style to cater the needs of my future husband
Even if I have to give up some things for him
It is a small price to pay for moving up to the front seat of society’s podium

It is all about me now
and my friends have to adjust to the new reality
(I am finding a hard time coping with the new nature of my relationships to everyone myself)

I know you will understand
and slowly we will all adjust to the new circumstances

Your’s
Haya

Low speed driving ticket!


So driving slowly is prohibited now? That is what happend to Jasmine of Damascus who got 50 JD ticket fine for driving below speed limit on her way back home from Marka to Amman. She had a problem in her tire, and was driving slowly for her safety as time was approaching night and she feared getting into trouble searching for anyone to fix her tire. A policeman stopped her, she explained to him her problem. Instead of helping her, he didn’t even dare to give her a ticket at hand, she got it the next day as a message on her cell phone!

ISN’T THERE ANY WAY TO FILE A COMPLAINT AGAINST POLICEMEN?

Since when do we have to watch our speed lower limit. Is this part of the new traffic law that was rejected by the parliament? or is it part of a traffic law that got approved without being publicied? and if there is such a law, then why don’t they first add signs to the roads stating the lower limit of speed. I mean, there should be a range for speed, no? just one fixed speed that we all have to abide with? That is insane!

It is weird what happens to Jasmine, in another event, when she tried to argue a policeman on a ticket he was about to issue for her. He said to her bluntly: SHUT UP or I will give you another ticket!

What an OUTRAGEOUS behaviour from a man that is paid to regulate our traffic, not to bully people in order to collect money for his salary! I am asking the government to force every single policeman to have a badge with his name on it near his chest along with a hot line number for citizens who would like to complain. At the back of policemen, there should be a big sign with the number and a text saying ‘How do you assess my service?’ aka the companies with driving cars that have signs saying ‘How is my driving’.

Another story Jasmine told me about her brother. Apparantly the rumor about the law against long and spiky hair has some ground. Some policemen caught her brother and forced him to go cut his hair! They threatened him to put him in jail if they saw him having the same long hair again!

How does that go with the denying of government of the existance of such law?! And how dare such policemen act in a way that defies the law?

Whom are we to complaint to for such violations of laws?

Al Sabooha’s marriage…and life


Etmakhtari ya 7elwa ya zena, ya warda…

I just love this woman’s passion for life. No matter how much age takes away from her, she insists on fighting and enjoying every single moment of her life to the max, giving a role model not only to the people of the middle east but those all over the world who just submit to their age and lose the taste of life.

In a region where people consider themselves old at 40, and where women are considered spinsters at 30, Al Sabooha breaks all the social norms and get married for the eights time in her 80’s (some argeu 90s).

See young women? See Salma? Everything is possible. Life is full of beautiful surprise. We just ought to open our arms and recieve them.

What’s sad is that loving life is not a value our society is proud of. Here in Jordan, age entitles respect. Respect is framed in a certain sets of behaviours that requires less smiles, less movements and more grumpness. Respect is framed in one image of a traditional man amd woman living by the rigid norms of society.

Unfortunatly people don’t see the message they can derive from Al Sabooha’s marriage, in the contrary they see her behaviour as an old woman insanity. An event to laugh at and build sarcastic jokes upon.

Do you know how sad seeing my mother at the beginning of her 50’s talking like she is close to the end of her life? How many of us have their mothers and fathers losing their ambition in life at such an early age due to the constraint of society that deprives them of their right of enjoying life?

Sometimes it occurs to me that Jordanian’s middle aged women only entertainment is their hairs! Does that explain the success of all those thousands beauty Saloon’s in Jordan?

Why don’t we learn from Al Saboha and enjoy every single moment of our lives? Age shouldn’t constrain us, and time shouldn’t be our nightmare. Let it be our friend and let us enjoy its company.

Congratulations for Al Sabooha. May your happiness last for ever after…

What if Arabia leads the world?


Everyone is impressed with the achivements of Dubai and its rapid development that is unmatchable in any other city around the world. Dubai has turned from a small normal Arabian city into a modern advanced city that rivals the biggest cities around the world. At the same time, Dubai is turning into a global hub for trade and tourism that adds to its expansion and development.

While an excellent leadership is a necessity for making such success, no one denies the effect of the oil revenue in helping the development process. If there is moeny, then anything is possible. The oil prices is breaking records everyday, and with each broken records, more and more money are recieved by the already rich Arabian gulf countries. The success of Dubai is triggering a sense of competition in the region, and other cities are following its lead.

As an Arabian man, I do admire the model of success in Dubai and is proud to see it leading the awakening of Arabia, the advancements in every possible field do give back some hope to our national dream of getting back the leadership of the world.

At the same time, there is part of me that is really worried of that possibility and its impact on the worlds culture and the level of human rights achievements.

We all know that technology and science is easily imported, and with the amount of money we have, it can be even an easier process, just look at Dubai as a living model. But then, we all know as well that social development is not that easy, and well earned human interaction concepts and legalization that western societies have worked hard to achieve and lead with are much harder to import.

Would our gaining the lead of the world in terms of technology, money and power be accompanied with catching up the universal human rights concepts and building on it? or it would be only a materialistic lead where those concepts are stepped over and re-shaped to match with our heritage of Arabic culture and thus causing a step back to the worlds achievments of human development?

Let’s face it, and taking the same Dubai as a model of measurment, how much it is still behind in terms of democracy, equality of its citizens, freedom of speech, and human rights legalizations?

Can we really make the leap while maintaining the most important factor in every civilization – which is its people?

Or this is all just a pre-mature talk for we need ages to make such leap?